One of the non-negotiable elements of my training plans is that they make room for my Saturday morning parkrun fix. Sometimes this forms part of a long run, sometimes it crops up as a recovery run and sometimes it is used as a tempo session, but it always, always features.
This morning, my instructions were to go HARD!!!! and I was under orders to go off almost unsustainably fast and then to start racing to catch up with people.
I tried. I really tried. I went off almost unsustainably fast and even overtook a handful of people. And then I found myself behind a woman in a JP Morgan t-shirt* and I just couldn’t catch her. I followed her around the lake, up the short slope, along the grassy tree-lined path, around the football fields, around the pavilion, round the other end of the lake, along the side of the park, along the bottom of the park, past the leisure centre and back to the lake. I watched in horror as she pulled away and then slowly, over the course of lap two, fought my way back towards her. I even, at the beginning of lap three, came up to her shoulder before she found her second wind and pulled away and I fell back once more.
At the end, she sprinted. So did I, with my head if not my feet, crossing the line in 25:32 and knocking 49 seconds off my pb.
* Thank you, thank you, thank you, woman in a JP Morgan t-shirt!